Australia v England, 5th women's ODI, Sydney February 11, 2008

Australia level series in style

Cricinfo staff

Australia 9 for 211 (A Blackwell 61, Nitschke 50) beat England 170 (Edwards 44, Greenway 42) by 41 runs

Ellyse Perry was in the wickets again © Getty Images

Australia women ensured the one-day trophy stayed in their possession, after levelling the series 2-2 in emphatic style with a 41-run win over England.

The in-form openers Alex Blackwell and Shelley Nitschke both made fifties to give them the advantage at the SCG after Karen Rolton chose to bat. The inevitable Ellyse Perry then stood out yet again with three wickets to add to fellow new-ball bowler Emma Sampson's two.

England were behind right from the start as Blackwell and Nitschke formed a solid stand, although vice-captain Nicky Shaw kept the pressure on with her ten overs for 16 and a wicket. The medium-pacer Stephanie Davies had something of a baptism of fire, debuting in the crucial match, but held her head high with four wickets, including three lbws.

Their inspired captain Charlotte Edwards top-scored for a second day in succession while Rolton, who continues to average against England half her normal ODI figure, could not shine with 5. Edwards and Kent team-mate Lydia Greenway gave the visitors hope but their efforts were not enough.

Nonetheless, England will almost consider the series draw a victory. Prior to this tour they had won only once on Australian soil, now they have three wins under their belt which is some achievement when the disruption of suddenly losing their coach is also taken into account.

Their young side now has significant momentum heading into next week's one-off Ashes Test at Bowral Oval which, like this series, is shaping up to be a cracker.

"We're bitterly disappointed that we didn't manage to clinch the series," said Edwards. "We didn't bowl or field well enough as a unit and to get 211 on a worn wicket was always going to be a hard ask. Having said that, it's fantastic to draw a series against Australia in Australia and I'm really proud of all the girls' efforts over the last week and look forward to the Test."